Verse 9:107 describes the masjid (or the consented decree) which was corrupted during the time of the previous messengers. By corrupting it, the people were directly abusing God’s consented decrees, which the Quran calls masa-jidil-lah.
- When the Torah was revealed to Moses, his people were enjoined to uphold the same deen revealed to Noah and Abraham. But the religionists corrupted the fundamental commandments consented by God to create a new religion. They introduced Judaism, an entity unknown to Moses.
- Jesus, the son of Mary, was sent to the Children of Israel to confirm what was given to Moses. His own followers plotted against him and ignored the original decree which Jesus wanted them to restore. Instead they created a new religion in his name. Jesus did not call any of his followers Christians, Catholic or Protestants.
- Similarly, when the Quran was revealed confirming the decrees given to Moses the Arabs corrupted the words in it – cunningly replaced it with the Arab religion. They have prevented others from God’s consented decree or masa-jidil-lah.
This is how the consented decree was abused. Their common intention was to destroy God’s consented decrees (masa-jidil-lah) as stated in 2:114.
One can hardly overlook the historical references to the Children of Israel, which are found throughout the Reading. For example, when they first received the Scripture they were warned that they would transgress on earth twice. When the first instance took place, God punished them through His servants who possessed great strength to invade their homeland. When the tide was turned in their favour, it was accompanied by another warning which said that if they worked righteousness, it would be for their own good, but if they worked evil they would suffer the consequences.
When the second transgression takes place, their opponents will neutralize them and they will enter the masjid the way they entered it the first time. Here we see the word masjid is attributed to the Children of Israel and it clearly does not refer to a physical building called a mosque. It simply means that long before the time of Muhammad, the Children of Israel consented themselves to the masjid (or consented decree). Thus, we can positively say that the Children of Israel were not inside any physical mosque.
The Children of Israel transgressed God’s laws. They distorted the Scripture and rebelled. Out of His Mercy, God sent Jesus to confirm what was revealed to Moses:
We gave Moses the Scripture, and subsequent to him We sent messengers, and We gave Jesus the son of Mary profound signs and supported him with the Holy Spirit1 (ruHul qudus). Whenever a messenger came to you with commandments contrary to your wishes you became arrogant, you rejected some, and you killed some. (2:87)
They rejected Jesus the son of Mary and transgressed. God says if they worked righteousness it would be for their own good, but if they worked evil they would suffer.
Many years later, God revealed Scripture to a man who was not from among them. Nevertheless, the message of the Reading is the same as that given to Moses. The Reading gives special attention to the Children of Israel in the early part of the Reading (from 2:40 through to 2:123) telling them they should not be the first to reject the Book. They are assured that the Book confirms what was given to them. If the Children of Israel would read the Reading they would discover the truth – even about their own race.
The first portion of the second surah of the Reading is can be summarised thus:
- 2:1-5 People who accept God’s Scripture
- 2:6-7 Those who disbelieve
- 2:8-20 The hypocrites
- 2:21-29 The message is addressed to the whole human race
- 2:30-39 The history of a man who lived by God’s guidance
- 2:40-123 The message to the Children of Israel
- 2:124-134 The history of a monotheist
- 2:135-141 Resistance by the old guard
- 2:142 Q: Why the Reading is sent to the non-Israelite?
- 2:143 A: As a test for those who want to follow His messenger
- 2:144-147 They knew it was the truth; they recognised it
- 2:148-152 Focus on the sanctions consented by God or masjidil-Harami revealed to the Prophet. Everyone should focus their attention on it.
Although the Reading was revealed to a non-Israelite, the message in the first major surah is predominantly addressed to them. It may shock the readers that – the truth is: The message of the Reading was meant for the Children of Israel – not for the Arabs. Nowhere in the Reading has any verse addressed to the Arabs except to admonish them in the strong terms with the exception of some verses addressed to the messenger as a prophet. That is the reason why God says, the Children of Israel recognized what was sanctioned in the Reading like their own children. 2:124-131 reminds them about the history of Abraham who was committed to God’s system, and the manner in which he and Ishmael established their commitments from God’s system. The choice was given to them either to accept or to reject the revelation. It was revealed to a gentile prophet as a test for them in order to distinguish those among them who would follow the messenger without being prejudicial of racial origin – from those who would turn back on their heels. God emphasizes in 2:143: “It is a difficult test indeed – but not for those guided by Him – and He will not put your faith to waste“.
Many people were oblivious to the essence of the message about the Children of Israel in the Reading. The details of the sanctions of God’s consented decree were prescribed in the Torah, but the Israelites had distorted and abused them. They had already entered into agreement with God or consented to uphold the tenets of the Torah the first time around, but they abused it. History does not record any Israelites entering any mosques.
If we read 17:7 with care we see that:
in-naa ahsan-tum if you do good
ahsan-tum it is good for you
li-anfusikum for yourselves
wa-ain asa'tum and if you work evil
falaha it is bad for you
faiza therefore, when
ja'a wa'dul the promise comes
li-yasuu'u they will disgrace
wuju-hakum your faces
wali-yad-khulu and they will enter/ inherit
masjida the consented decrees
mama the same way
da-qolu you entered
au-wala mar-rotin the first time
wali-yutab-biru and they control
a'lu tat-bi-ror they will get a full control of
They are reminded that they had entered the masjid earlier. This was when they received the Torah. Da-qolu auwala mar-rotin means which you entered the first time. It implies that they consented to God’s decree after making a covenant with Him. That is the period when they entered their agreement or gave their consent to God’s instructions. Obviously, the Children of Israel did not built any mosque.
1 In spite of the unique quality in Jesus it didn’t work wih the Children of Israel. Later, people who believed Jesus started to think he was God. They cannot imagine it is God’s will he was created with God’s words and the Holy Spirit.